Your Father Loves You
by James Packer, Harold Shaw Publishers, 1986, page for March 10
The Greek word agape (love) seems to have been virtually a Christian invention&md;a new word for a new thing (apart from about twenty occurrences in the Greek version of the Old Testament, it is almost non-existent before the New Testament). Agape draws its meaning directly from the revelation of God in Christ. It is not a form of natural affection, however, intense, but a supernatural fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22>). It is a matter of will rather than feeling (for Christians must love even those they dislike&md;Matt. 5:44-48>). It is the basic element in Christlikeness.
Read 1 Corinthians 13> and note what these verses have to say about the primacy (vv. 1-3>) and permanence (vv. 8-13>) of love; note too the profile of love (vv. 4-7>) which they give.